The winter solstice starts today and marks the end of the 13th baktun, or cycle, of the Mayan calendar. The hubbub about a calamity supposedly occurring on 12/21/12 comes from a Mayan stone carving made in 700 A.D., which predicts a major event at the end of this baktun (today!). But half of the broken tablet is missing, so who knows what the complete message may be.
If you’re reading this, LET’S CELEBRATE! that the above forecast did not come true by enJOYing some yummy Mayan Chocolate Pudding. The Mayans and the Aztecs were some of the first to cultivate the cacao bean and use it in religious ceremonies and as currency. So, maybe that’s what’s going to happen: we’ll all start using chocolate instead of money and all of our problems will be solved! Can you imagine how much happier everyone would be? Kinda like a Willy Wonka kind of thing…rivers of chocolate, wallpaper that tastes like fruit candy, singing and dancing. Sometimes the end of an era is not such a bad thing, right?
In my mind, there is nothing more comforting than chocolate pudding. It’s especially delicious when it is still warm. This pudding has a lil’ extra kick of spicy, Ancho chili powder, along with some cinnamon and orange zest which is what makes it Mayan-esque. I’d say it’s a great way to celebrate our new way of life.
- 2 cups fat free half & half
- 2 cups whole milk
- 12 oz good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. Ancho chili powder
- ¼ tsp. fresh orange zest
- 12 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- Sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Bring the milks to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until well blended.
- Add the spices and let the mixture cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until it's a pale yellow color.
- Slowly, so that you don't cook the eggs, whisk a small amount of chocolate into the egg mixture. Gradually add more, whisking constantly, until all of the chocolate is incorporated into the egg mixture.
- Place 6 - 4oz ramekins in a roasting pan and carefully add enough boiling water to the pan to come halfway up the outside of the ramekins.
- Pour the pudding into the ramekins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40-50 mins. until set, but slightly jiggly in the center. Remove the pan from the oven.
- Using a turkey baster, remove the hot water from the pan. Use a spatula to lift the ramekins out of the pan and place them on a tray and let them cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.
- Top with sweetened whipped cream and shaved chocolate. EnJOY!